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Expat Club trips

The one activity you can’t miss in Tromsø

When you begin your arctic adventure in Tromsø there is so much to see and do, but there is one activity you cannot miss. The beauty of the Northern Lights is already enough to entice many to join this fantastic experience. But this one activity we’re talking about will make you feel warm and fuzzy. 

Chasing the Northern Lights in Norway

Why head north to colder climates when you could bask in the sun in Greece or Cyprus? The answer is simple. The Land of the Midnight Sun is magical, even when you just have a few hours of daylight each day. Here's a detailed account of my experience in Tromsø for NYE.

Everything you need to know about the Northern lights

This natural phenomenon always manages to capture the imagination. The lights can be unpredictable and ever-changing, but one thing is absolutely sure: they will always be a fascinating sight! Here's everything you need to know about the Northern lights (and how to increase your chances to see them!)

Five Tips to Survive Winter’s Cold Temperatures

Winter is a four-letter word. C-O-L-D. While hundreds of thousands of travelers are basking in the sun during the winter, heartier travelers are heading north to the frozen tundra. Whether it’s a ski holiday, adventure vacation or business trip, how can you best brave the cold and stay warm and comfy, cozy in bone-chilling temperatures? Here are five tips to survive the cold, snow and ice. 

How to dress to impress at Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a party, after all; therefore people will dress for the occasion.  It may seem those traditional Alpine outfits are likely just a stereotype, but people do take their Oktoberfest garb very seriously.  Here’s our speedy guide to Oktoberfest fashion. Let’s begin with the basics The traditional outfits, in general, are called “Tracht,” the word used to describe all sorts of typical garments in German-speaking countries, but in particular of Bavarian, South Tyrolian, and Austrian ones. Depending on the region and social status, both accessories and garment quality will vary.  Hence, it’s not surprising to stumble upon shops in Germany and Austria carrying these pieces of clothing prices several hundred (and sometimes thousands) of euros! In the Okto...

Monet’s Magical Gardens

There are few places in France as magical as Giverny, a quaint village that lies just 80 km from Paris. Claude Monet, the father of Impressionism, discovered this gateway to Normandy as he glanced out of a train window back in 1883. On 26 May, Expat Club travellers got a chance to discover it, too. It was an early start for the weary travellers as we headed down the highway from Brussels. Sitting on our comfortable and roomy luxury coach, we got inspired for the visit with a 90-minute documentary about Monet that showcased his life through letters he wrote. Soon, the rolling green hills of the French countryside greeted us as we neared Giverny.  By lunchtime, we had arrived! We walked down stone streets, past charming slate-roof buildings and homes, to LesNymphéas, French for the water lil...

Meet the Castle: Château de Chenonceau

Did you know that Château de Chenonceau was a gift from King Henry II of France to his mistress Diane de Poitiers? She didn’t get to keep it, though. Chateau de Chenonceau is the third castle of the Loire Valley we visit during our weekend trip. One of the most remarkable aspects of this chateau’s history is its almost uninterrupted succession down the line of fascinating women. Here’s a brief overview of the chateau’s history and why we love it so much.

Meet the Castle: Château de Cheverny

Did you know that Château de Cheverny was the inspiration for the fictional Marlinspike Hall  (Château de Moulinsart in French) in the Adventures of Tintin books? Chateau de Cheverny is the second castle of the Loire Valley we visit during our weekend trip. Here are a few reasons why we love this castle. Practically untouched Accounts vary about the chateau’s construction which dates anywhere between the 15th and 16th century. The original owner of the estate, Henry Le Mareschau, sold the estate to Jean Hurault, whose grandson, Jacques Hurault became the first Marquis de Vibraye. Cheverny thus became the official seat of the Marquis de Vibraye. The property has remained in the same family for over six centuries; this is probably why the chateau has practically maintained its classica...

Opal Coast: Winding roads and windy skies

Traveling with Expat Club is always an adventure, and our trip to the Opal Coast was no exception. We left the grey skies and pelting rain of Brussels behind as we drove west to the northern coast of France. Skies cleared, but brisk winds accompanied us on our full-day foray to France. Dunkirk Our first stop was the port city of Dunkirk, a city steeped in history. Towering over the city is Tour du Leughenaer, or “the liar’s tower.” Erected in 1450 and converted to a lighthouse around 1793, it’s the city’s oldest building. Legend says false lighthouse signals lured ships into areas where they were grounded and then looted. We had time to walk through the maritime city, visiting the active market, having a coffee and fresh croissant, or viewing spectacular churches like the Gothic-style Sain...

5 Interesting Facts about Champagne

Any occasion can instantly become a party when a bottle of delicious champagne wine opens!  This sparkling wine bears the name of the region where it’s grown: Champagne, located in Northern France. Its geography and climate made it the perfect place to cultivate the grapes from which the wine is produced. Growers and wine producers have perfected its production method for centuries, making the final product achieve the level of prestige everyone come to associate with the word Champagne! Our Champagne day trip is one of our popular destinations here at Expat Club. Here are five interesting facts about this region that will make you want to hop on the next tour! 1. Champagne wine exists thanks to Italians Wine-making was introduced in the Champagne region by Romans. These invaders mad...

4 Interesting facts about Mont Saint-Michel

This UNESCO World Heritage location has captured the imagination for centuries, thanks to its architecture and place on an islet with one of the highest tides in Europe. Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most famous landmarks in France, visited by over 3 million visitors each year. The impressive views of Mont Saint-Michel have inspired popular culture, from books and classical music to Hollywood movies and video games. Here are 4 interesting facts about Mont Saint-Michel. 1. A celestial vision The building plans for Mont Saint-Michel were put in motion in the year 708 with a dream. Legend says the Archangel Michael came to Bishop Aubert of Avranches on three separate occasions, instructing him to build a church on the rocky island. Actual completion of the monastery would only happen severa...

Hautvillers: Picture-perfect in Champagne

The village of Hautvillers is one of the most beautiful and picturesque towns we visit during our Champagne Day Trip and one with great significance: it’s the place where the French Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon is said to have invented champagne wine. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. So why do we like Hautvillers so much? Here are some of the places we love and why you should, too!

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